The Attitude of Gratitude
Giving Thanks to Get What You Truly Need
Gratitude (grat·i·tude) is the quality of being thankful; readiness to show appreciation for and to return kindness.
As a leader, there are many qualities that make you great. At the top of the list are being thankful and expressing gratitude. Why? It’s important for your team. By saying thank you and appreciating their work, you encourage them to continue giving their best. If you do it right, most respond with more loyalty and effort.
On the flip side, a lack of gratitude can be a tipping point for an employee if other issues exist within the company. If someone is already unsure about whether they want to stay, a lack of appreciation pushes them over the edge, and your most talented employees leave first. Pause and think about the following questions:
- How often do you say thank you?
- Do you acknowledge why you’re saying it?
- How often do you stop to appreciate the actions of your employees?
- How about your colleagues? Your boss? Your friends? Your family?
If you haven’t been giving thanks, today would be a good day to start. And if you’re rusty, remember that gratitude does not equal platitudes. The sincerity in your thankfulness has to be real. The power of appreciation has an authentic and tangible weight, so observe how your words and gratitude inspire others, and how a genuine compliment can light someone up. If you’re having trouble connecting with sincere thankfulness, re-evaluate of your current values and read up about servant leadership
In addition to thanking others, personal gratitude and thanking yourself for what you’ve done are also important. Experiencing gratitude for what you have, what you’ve achieved, and who you are is both humbling and confidence building. A humble leader is more empathetic and understanding when they can connect to their own struggles and triumphs. You come to understand where others are coming from, improving your communication and relatability. By acknowledging where you’ve come from and being thankful for what you’ve achieved, you build your confidence. When grateful, you present more confidence, and a confident leader communicates their message better and inspires others.
I grew up in the United States, where the holiday of Thanksgiving is currently upon us. It’s a great time to reflect on our own gratitude. Join me in considering the following:
- How often do you take time to give thanks?
- What are you grateful for?
- Do you make lists of your accomplishments?
- Do you take time to think about what it took to achieve them?
I hope you do. May we all take time to give thanks and be grateful, this year and beyond.
That is the attitude of gratitude. Let me know in the comments below what you think about gratitude.